What’s the perfect gravel tire? Well, like most types of riding, that depends on a number of factors. Frame clearance, terrain type, weather conditions, riding style, etc. There already plenty of tires out there for those looking for smooth rolling tires that are super light for the average gravel rider. But what if you want to get rad?

WTB Raddler vs Riddler tire 44 45mm

What does that mean? We take it to mean riding gravel bikes on more aggressive trails where cornering and braking grip are just as important as rolling resistance and tire weight. If that sounds like you, you may want to check out the new Raddler tire from WTB.

WTB Raddler vs Riddler tire 44 45mm
Original 700c x 45mm Riddler on the left, and 700c x 44mm Raddler on the right

Riddler vs. Raddler

Not to be confused with the half beer, half lemon soda drink from Germany, the Raddler is well, a radder Riddler. As a refresher, the Riddler is an awesome WTB tire with a tightly packed short knob centerline and bigger side lugs for cornering grip. As good as the Riddler is, there were those who felt it wore out too quickly, and/or didn’t offer enough grip in wet conditions. Enter the Raddler.

Compared to the Riddler, the Raddler uses centerline knobs that are the same shape, but more widely spaced. They’re also slightly bigger, and taller. This should make them last a lot longer, but also causes them to punch through layers of mud to maintain grip.

The side knobs are also substantially larger and the tire has a more squared profile which should make it easier to get these side knobs to bite.

WTB Raddler 700c 40 44mm tires black tan side wall WTB Raddler 700c 40 44mm tires black tan side wall

Choose your (tubeless) sidewall

Offered in two sizes, you can have the Raddler in 700c x 40 or 44mm. Both of these come in black or tan sidewalls, will all of them featuring WTB’s TCS Light tubeless construction, single ply 60 tpi casing, and Dual DNA rubber. All models sell for $59.99.

When it comes to their actual size, I mounted the 44mm Raddlers to an Atomik Berd Ultimate wheelset with a 26mm internal width, and they measured 43.25mm wide. I also have a set of 45mm Riddlers mounted to Easton EC90 AX rims with a 24mm internal width, and they measure just under 45mm at 44.9mm – but they’ve also been on there for a while and have definitely stretched.

WTB Raddler 700c 40 44mm tires black tan side wall actual weights

Actual Weights (bigger is lighter??)

On the scale shots above, the tan wall tires are the 44mm and the black walls are the 40mm. Since the tan wall material is lighter, the 44mm tires actually come in less than their black counterparts at 512/513g. This would also mean that the black 44mm tires would be heavier than the tan walls 44mm. Judging by the fact that the black 40mm tires above are more than the claimed weight for the  black 44mm tires, we might expect the 700c x 44mm black tires to be a good big heavier than claimed as well.

WTB Raddler 700c 40 44mm tires black tan side wall

Real World Performance

Since I’m already a big fan of the Riddler, I couldn’t wait to get the Raddlers mounted up for a ride. This time of year causes me to leave the Riddlers in the garage and reach for a tire with more bite. But some of those tires have also proven to be painfully slow on pavement. My first thought was that the Raddler feels very fast on the road for what it is. It feels a lot like the Riddler with excellent straight line speed and rolling resistance – but lean it over and you’ll start to feel those knobs.

WTB Raddler 700c 40 44mm tires black tan side wall WTB Raddler 700c 40 44mm tires black tan side wall

It didn’t take long to find some treacherous mud to test out the tire’s grip. Immediately, the Raddler was an improvement over the Riddler while braking on a steep, loose trail. After controlling my descent to the trail below, the Raddlers also proved to happily hold your line even with quick changes in direction on the slickest mud. I was impressed by the precision offered by the Raddler when making hard turns on leaf over wet trails. Definitely rad.

There’s no doubt that these tires perform better in wet conditions than the Riddler. They also seem to shed mud fairly well, even when it’s that crazy sticky peanut butter mud that seems to cling to everything. More importantly, for the mud that doesn’t get shed, the tread blocks still poke out past it which makes it seem like there’s always grip to be found.

The tires are obviously a bit smaller than the Riddlers in the 44mm size, but this means that if your bike has clearance for 45mm tires, you’ll have extra mud clearance. Which is probably important if you’re considering a tire like the Raddler.

Like the Riddler in dry conditions, the Raddler seems like a great compromise in wet conditions. There is plenty of grip when you need it, but the tire still rolls well enough on pavement that you won’t feel like you’re pushing Super Swampers on the way to the good stuff.

wtb.com

25 COMMENTS

  1. Gotta’ wonder how this one compares to Resolute as well, especially in terms of rolling on pavement. Or would this tire make a good business in the front mullet with a Byway 44 party out back!

    -Ed

    • I just received in my pair of Raddler 44 and I plan to run a Raddler 44 in the front with a Byway 44 in the rear for a fast-rolling, high-steering-grip mullet party on my bike! Results TBD.

      -Ed

  2. And yet there is no 650b option!?
    WTB…if your listening…and you ever make this tire in a 650b…50-53mm is a preferred size from you.
    I bought-installed a pair of the 650b x 47 Senderos (with a 25mm hook rim) and came across disappointed as they there were a quite undersized compared to the Gravelking SK (48″s) I have been riding.
    So I removed the Senderos (un-ridden) and back on another set of Gk’s…
    Love the direction you are going and will keep an eye out for a updated 650b line up in the future.

  3. Admittedly, I am not a big Riddler fan, as I found that in mud, they’re super slippery & on pavement, they felt like velcro. These look, to me, like a Nine Line (my favorite WTB tire…. now defunct) with larger side knobs. If they are, I would love to see 2.0 & 2.25X700 versions. Or, just bring back the Nine Line and I’d be even happier.

  4. “On the scale shots above, the tan wall tires are the 44mm and the black walls are the 40mm. Since the tan wall material is lighter, the 44mm tires actually come in less than their black counterparts at 512/513g. This would also mean that the black 44mm tires would be lighter than the tan walls. Judging by the fact that the 40mm tires above are more than the claimed weight for the 44mm tires, we might expect the 700c x 44mm black tires to be a good big heavier than claimed as well.”
    The above section of the article needs redoing as it doesn’t make any sense to me. One sentence is contradicting the next one…

    • You’re right. Basically for any given tire size, the black walls will be heavier than the tan walls. And the black tires are heavier than claimed.

    • The Raddler has more grip and better mud shedding than the Venture, but the Venture is probably better on pavement and it’s also much higher volume in the 50mm version. I really like the 700c x 50mm Ventures I’ve ridden for an all-around tire, but they won’t fit on many of the gravel bikes we get in for testing. The 40mm version would though.

  5. Question: Are the true to width? WTB, and in fairness many others, tend to be a little bit smaller than advertised. If not, what do they measure when you put a caliper on them at the widest point of the tread? Thanks in advance.

    • “When it comes to their actual size, I mounted the 44mm Raddlers to an Atomik Berd Ultimate wheelset with a 26mm internal width, and they measured 43.25mm wide. I also have a set of 45mm Riddlers mounted to Easton EC90 AX rims with a 24mm internal width, and they measure just under 45mm at 44.9mm – but they’ve also been on there for a while and have definitely stretched.”

  6. I feel like a 35-38c light-build version of this would be a great dry/medium conditions CX racing tire too. @ 40c & over 500g, it’s pretty heavy for this.

  7. How big do the 40mm measure out to? I have some WTB 37mm that are a bit narrower than that on rims 20-25m internal, and a 42mm that is closer to 45mm on the same rims.

    I could just fit the 40mm Nanos on my bike and would love to know if the 40mm Raddlers are actually 40mm on a 20-25mm rim?

        • Ok, just installed the 40s on a pair of Cannondale Hollowgram 22 rims which have a fairly wide internal width of 25mm. Fresh out of the package and on the rim, the tires measure almost exactly 40mm wide – actually 40.4mm. Assuming they will stretch some, they’ll likely be oversized on a rim as wide as the Cannondale. Hopefully not too wide, since the Topstone Carbon they’re on maxes out at 40mm tire clearance!

          • Thanks for checking back in. They sound like the casing size is pretty similar to the nano 40mm: Slightly bigger than 40mm on 25mm rims, but on point on a <20mm rim. Excited to try these (I too have a 40mm max on my Mosaic)

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